As a direct result of the Jackson Hole Conservation Summit in 2015, 2017 and 2019, Jackson Hole WILD and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have teamed up to inspire personal responsibility and stewardship for endangered creatures through a film showcase across the world. In 2015, we hosted the International Elephant Film Festival, which has reached over 8,000 people in 70+ countries. Building off of this success, we hosted the International Big Cats Film Festival in 2018. The World Wildlife Day Film Showcase anchors a global movement to conserve marine species and ecosystems while it is still possible. Selected from 300+ films, winners will be announced at UN Headquarters in New York at its World Wildlife Day celebration, then showcased globally at special screening events through Jackson Hole WILD on Tour.
Covering 2/3 of the planet, our oceans remain the least-understood ecosystems on Earth. In fact, we know more about the moon than we do the deep sea. Nonetheless, life on our planet began in the ocean and we rely on a healthy ocean for our very survival. Oceans regulate our climate, produce half the oxygen we breathe, drive the water cycle that provides rain and freshwater, and provides nourishment for 3+ billion people on the planet. Oceans absorb 30% of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and fully 90% of the heat from climate change.
Big cats are among the most widely recognized and admired animals across the globe. However, today these charismatic predators are facing many and varied threats, which are mostly caused by human activities. Overall, their populations are declining at a disturbing rate due to loss of habitat and prey, conflicts with people, poaching and illegal trade. Our aim is to galvanize the power of media to inspire wonder, catalyze change and move the dial on the conservation of big cats.
At a time when the ivory-driven elephant crisis can still be stopped, it is essential to take action that empowers locally-driven engagement with measurable impact. The Elephant Film Festival is a component of worldwide public outreach and engagement efforts to empower action and inspire a sense of personal responsibility and stewardship for elephant conservation and in creating an equitable and sustainable future.